When it comes to companionship, you don't get much better than a pet. Man's best friend, in fact. Be it feathered or furry, the unconditional love a pet brings to a home can be priceless. But no matter how much you love your pets, you need to know they carry specific germs that can make you and your family sick. In this article, we will learn about several pet infections, including:

  • Preventing Animal BitesAnimal bites usually result from an unfortunate altercation with a household pet, especially a dog or cat -- putting especially children at risk. In fact, wild animals account for only 5 percent of animal bites each year. Most bites, if washed and treated properly, will heal and leave you with no more than a sour memory, but if neglected, they can cause skin infections or more serious diseases like tetanus or rabies. Household pets should be given their shots, and children should be taught to avoid strangers' animals.
  • Preventing Cat Scratch FeverEven though household felines appear cute and cuddly, 40 percent of cats carry the bacteria at some point in their lives that can causes cat scratch fever. They can infect you through a scratch or a bite, or even licking your open wound, since the B. henselae bacteria is carried in cat saliva. Most people will recover naturally from cat scratch fever but some may need antibiotics.
  • Preventing Parrot FeverParrot fever is not common, and usually infects those who work in a turkey-processing plant or have some other daily contact with birds including parrots, parakeets, macaws, cockatiels, lovebirds, pigeons, or doves. People become infected when they inhale bird remnants, including shed feathers or dust from dried bird droppings. The symptoms don't arise immediately, and if left untreated a serious case of parrot fever can lead to pneumonia or affect the liver. Antibiotics usually do the job.

This information is solely for informational purposes. IT IS NOT INTENDED TO PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. Neither the Editors of Consumer Guide (R), Publications International, Ltd., the author nor publisher take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, action or application of medication which results from reading or following the information contained in this information. The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider. Before undertaking any course of treatment, the reader must seek the advice of their physician or other health care provider.